After being a dominant figure in men's tennis in 2004 and 2005, Roger Federer propelled his game to an even higher level in 2006. The Swiss lifted 12 titles and won 92 out of 97 matches that year, leaving all the rivals far behind.
After the Cincinnati quarter-final defeat to Andy Murray, Federer won 24 straight encounters ahead of the ATP Finals. The Swiss conquered the US Open, Tokyo, Madrid and Basel and wished to regain the ATP Finals crown lost to David Nalbandian in 2005.
Roger and David met in the first round-robin clash in 2006, with the Swiss overcoming a slow start and earning a 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 triumph. The second round-robin clash was even more challenging for the Swiss. He prevailed against Andy Roddick 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 in two and a half hours after repelling three match points in the second set!
It was their 13th meeting and the 12th triumph for the Swiss, who had to give his everything to cross the finish line ahead of the American. Roger won three points more than Andy, playing better behind the second serve and fending off three out of four break chances.
Roddick repelled six out of seven break points offered to world no. 1. He took the opening set with that single break and wasted a massive opportunity to beat Federer for the first time in over three years. Roger had more winners, and Andy erased that deficit after forcing 50 mistakes from the Swiss.
Roddick punched Federer in the shortest rallies up to four strokes but lost ground in the most extended ones. Andy drew first blood in the encounter's third game following Roger's double fault and held at 30 to cement the lead and move 3-1 up.
Struggling in those moments, Federer saved a break point in game five to remain within one break deficit. He earned two break chances in the next one with a forehand crosscourt winner.
Roger Federer saved three match points against Andy Roddick in Shanghai 2006.
Andy stayed calm and blasted four powerful serves to get out of jail and bring the game home.
Serving for the set at 5-4, the American saved a break point with a service winner and closed it with a volley winner at the net for a massive boost. Roger erased a break chance at 2-2 in the second set with a service winner and earned two set points on the return at 5-4.
Andy denied both with winners and repelled the third to bring the game home with a volley winner at the net for 5-5. The American created two match points at 6-4 in the tie break and squandered them to keep world no. 1 in contention.
Roger erased the third match point at 7-8 with a service winner and stole the set following Andy's terrible smash in the 18th point. The Swiss had the momentum, and he secured a break at 1-1 in the decider. Roger held after deuces in the next one to open a 3-1 gap and move closer to the finish line.
Serving for the win at 5-4, Federer landed three service winners to seal the deal and produce a great escape.